In its long history Delhi has been on several occasions the victim of military occupation accompanied by pillage and rapine, and these occasions have sometimes altered the course of the city’s fortunes, both materially and culturally. One such occasion was its capture by Qutubuddin Aibak on behalf of Sultan Muizud-Din Muhammad-ibn-Sam of Ghur in 1192 or 1193. Others, much later, were Nader Shah’s capture of the city in 1739, followed by its occupation by Ahamd Shah Durrani, the British in 1803, and the destruction which accompanied the uprising of 1857 and its suppression.
The period from 1724, to Nadir Shah’s invasion in 1739 was one of rapid internal decay of the empire, but one of outer brilliance for Delhi as far as its cultural life was concerned. The phase of 1740 to 1760 was period of growing anarchy.